An expert system applied in construction water quality monitoring.

Author:Ooshaksaraie, Leila
 
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INTRODUCTION

Expansion of urban areas is the main causes of land use change in the developing countries (Solaimani et al., 2009). In urban development, construction sector plays major role in every country. It provides the direct means to the development and is, at the same time, a major polluter of the environment (Baris and Erik, 2000). Rapid development and expansion of construction activities without carrying-out proper application of technology might impose adverse impacts on the quality of the water body (Safaian et al., 2004). Therefore, it is important to plan Best Management Practices (BMPs) by considering not only cost efficiency but also the appropriate management of water and soil (Parsakhoo et al., 2009). It is common sense that water pollution may be due to industrial effluents such as exhaust fumes and gases liquid or solid wastes (Benmenni and Benrachedi, 2010). But in the immediate future, construction activity will continue to produce the most adverse impact on the receiving water quality through the discharge of its pollutants. Construction activities can disturb soil and travels down from a construction site that eventually ends up in rivers. Erosion is one of the most significant forms of land degradation (Solaimani et al., 2009). Sediment, which results from the excessive erosion of disturbed soils, is the primary pollutant of concern. However, other pollutants such as construction chemicals, nutrients, soil additives, pesticides, metals, oil and grease and miscellaneous wastes are also of concern at construction sites (DID, 2001). Further, it can increase the inputs of organic material into streams and reduces the amount of oxygen in receiving water bodies (EIA, 2007). Thus, construction activities can be detrimental to water resources, which can become critical in some areas (Baris and Erik, 2000). Continuous degradation of water body has caused concerns for people who live on the coast of water body (Safaian et al., 2004). Therefore, protection of surface water from pollution has received a high priority since many countries have suffered from considerable deterioration in the quality of their water resources (Vrtacnik et al., 1992).

Water resources are essential and play a significant role in the development processes (Al-Dakheel et al., 2009). Water quality monitoring is proposed for construction projects to provide assurance of compliance with regulatory requirements. It is also recommended to ensure that water quality degradation does not occur as a result of the construction activities (RTA, 2010). There are three significant steps involved in the water quality monitoring plan during construction activities:

* Information about site location

* Consideration of all suitable water quality parameters to be affected from the site

* Evaluation of the collected data in an accurate way

This evaluation is completed before decisions related to the pollution mitigation measures are taken and it is a challenging process requiring intense data, experience and knowledge. Water quality is continuously monitored to meet related regulations. Assessing and preparing the water quality monitoring plan are the most important and time-consuming task that relates to various information, data, domain law, expert knowledge and experience in terms of construction activities, environmental and receiving water protection. Therefore, there needs to be a support system for collecting, analyzing and reporting information (Say et al., 2007; Muthusamy and Ramalingam, 2003). Expert system is a computer based system utilizes data and model to support decision maker for solving unstructured problems (Hartati and Sitanggang, 2010). It is promising technology that manages data and information and provides the required expertise (Say et al., 2007). It thus seem well suited to many of tasks associated with water quality management.

Jin presented GIS-based expert system for onsite stormwater management (Jin et al., 2006). Oprea also contributed an expert system to analyse soil, water and air pollution. Ghani demonstrated the use of knowledge-based system for river water quality management (Ghani et al., 2009).

CWQM introduced in this study was designed for construction sites and it aims to inform the project owner, the consultants and decision-makers at the water quality monitoring plan preparing in the most accurate, the newest and the fastest way.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Water quality monitoring and construction activities in Malaysia: The last decades the coastal area many pressures are taken on the man-made activities (Economou, 2009). Urban development is particularly rapid in Malaysia. An untoward environmental impact of urban growth in Malaysia has been the frequent occurrence of excessive soil losses from construction sites. There has also been deterioration in a number of watercourses due to severe siltation and other pollutants from the site (DID, 2001). Therefore, in Malaysia, Department Of Environment (DOE) has proposed preparing water quality monitoring plan during construction activities. Monitoring has four steps: (1) identifying sampling stations, (2) identifying sampling frequency, (3) describing water quality monitoring parameters, (4)...

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